Archaeological committee to inspect the looted El-Hibeh site

Nevine El-Aref , Tuesday 10 Apr 2012

In response to concerns about raids on the site, the antiquities ministry has sent a committee to inspect the area

Overview of the site

An archaeological committee from the Ministry of State for Antiquities (MSA) embarked today on an inspection tour at the El-Hibeh archaeological site in Beni Suef, as well as other sites that were subjected to looting after the 2011 revolution.

Abdel-Hamid Maarouf, head of the ancient Egyptian antiquities department and head of the committee, told Ahram Online that the tour includes the El-Hibeh and Ehnasia sites in Beni Suef and Dahshour in Giza. The committee aims to check the losses as well as tighten security measures at the sites.

On 25 March, Ahram Online published an article about a new Facebook page launched by well-known American archeologist Carol Redmount, which aimed to rescue the El-Hibeh archaeological site. The site is considered to be crucial for understanding ancient Egyptian history, as it is the least disturbed city mound from the third intermediate period (1070BC - 664BC).

The lack of security in the aftermath of the January 25 Revolution has led to raids on various ancient monuments, including at the El-Hibeh site.

Night raids on the antiquities were being carried out by an unknown person from El-Ogra, a village north of the site, who has not been caught.

“The upshot was that a local 'gangster' from El-Ogra… had formed a sort of mafia focused on looting the site,” Redmount wrote on the Facebook page. "His 'gang' has continued to steal from the site on a 'massive scale.' ”

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